Teaching Medical Malpractice Advocacy at the University of Toronto

Recently I had the privilege of speaking to the summer students in the LAWS program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, my alma mater, on advocacy and the role of a lawyer in the conduct of medical malpractice litigation. The students spent a whole week on the study of medical malpractice including the […]

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Medical Device Approval Process Is Defective

The Institute of Medicine released a study on Friday July 29 2011 concluding that the regulatory framework in the U.S. for the fast track approval and release of moderate risk medical devices into the market is itself flawed and fails to offer assurances of safety for patients.The IOM study committee made 3 important findings: 1. […]

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Medical Errors Continue to Harm Patients According to a New Study

Researchers have published in the New England Journal of Medicine the results of a study taken to determine whether efforts to reduce medical errors at national, regional, and local levels have translated into significant improvements in the overall safety of patients in hospitals. In December 1999, the Institute of Medicine reported that medical errors cause […]

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Urological Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice in urology is of sufficient concern that it has been the subject of academic study.  In our role of malpractice lawyers we reviewed a grouping of studies the results of which provide insight into the cause and frequency of negligence in this medical specialty. What we found was illuminating. Urology is in the […]

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Lung Cancer and Medical Malpractice

Recently the Canadian government has come in for criticism on its flagging resolve to continue to up the bar on the requirements for graphic display of the effects of lung cancer on the packaging of cigarettes. Thankfully medical doctors have been traditionally been very vocal in decrying the deleterious effects of this societal affliction. This […]

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Wrong Site Surgery Increases After the Introduction of the Universal Protocol

A study of more than 27,370 adverse events self-reported by Colorado physicians and published in the October Archives of Surgery found that 132 wrong-patient and wrong-site procedures were reported to the Colorado Physician Insurance Co. from 2002 to 2008. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 18,000 health care organizations […]

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Practical Car Accident Tips

Introduction No one wants to be in a motor car accident but once you are you need to follow certain procedures to protect your legal position. Here we will give you the pointers necessary to guide you through the trials of what can be a disheartening experience. Please remember that these pointers are for information […]

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Patients Need to Act Promptly in a Medical Mapractice Case

The recently released decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Liu v. Silver, 2010 ONCA 731 serves as a caution to plaintiffs that they should not delay in commencing legal action in a medical malpractice case. There was a factual finding that before the plaintiff was discharged from the hospital on she knew that she had […]

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Sudbury Regional Hospital Emergency Department Performance Worsening

In a development that is concerning for proper patient care Carol Mulligan of the Sudbury Star has published a story on a report made to the board of directors of Sudbury Regional Hospital about the hospital’s performance in relation to the provincial wait time strategy for emergency department rooms. She quotes David McNeil, vice-president of […]

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Long-Term Care and Nursing Home Legislation Mandates Health Care and Prohibits Neglect and Abuse

In Ontario the passage of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 represents an advancement of the rights and protection for residents of long-term care and nursing homes. Residents and their family members who advocate on their behalf should be aware of the provisions of the Act and its regulation so that they will be able […]

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Surgeons and Referring Physicians are Responsible for Wrong Site and Patient Procedures

A revealing report of an analysis of a prospective physician insurance database containing 27,370 physician self-reported adverse occurrences in the state of Colorado from January 1, 2002, to June 1, 2008 has appeared in the Archives of Surgery Journal. The study which was looking only for certain surgical events found that a total of 25 […]

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Recent Study Finds Doctors Unrevealing About Treatment Options

A survey conducted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan has found that patients hear far more from doctors about the pros than cons of medications, tests and surgeries. Much of the time, physicians tend to offer opinions, not options, the researchers found, and rarely mention that patients can decide not […]

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Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Require Expert Opinion Evidence before Trial

In a medical malpractice law suit the plaintiff must meet certain requirements before being allowed to proceed to trial. If these requirements are not met then the defence will bring a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the action prior to trial. In effect this motion acts as a gatekeeper to weed out cases that […]

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Gastric Banding Concerns for Teenagers

The gastric banding industry is poised to grow as U.S. regulators consider granting permission to perform the procedure on the nation’s bulging ranks of overweight teens. Allergan the industry leader has an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval to market the device to teens as young as 14. A decision could […]

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Cataracts Lead to Diagnostic Errors

The Globe and Mail is reporting on the source of a series of diagnostic errors at a hospital in Windsor Ontario contained in an internal report the paper obtained through a Freedom of Information request. The errors relate to findings in pathology reports authored by Dr. Olive Williams. Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital in Windsor caught four […]

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Drug Side Effect Reporting

Health Canada has launched a new Consumer Side Effect Reporting Form making it easier for consumers to report side effects to drugs and other health products to the Canada Vigilance Program. Reporting side effects, also known as adverse reactions, is important to health product safety. Each report may contribute to improving the safe use of […]

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The Elderly Continue to be at Risk from Anti-Psychotic Medication

A study published in the medical journal Lancet Neurology reports that patients over the age of 67 suffering from moderate to severe Alzheimer’s Disease prescribed antipsychotic drugs have double the risk of dying as those taking a placebo. The drugs followed in the study were Risperdal (risperidone), Thorazine (chlorpromazine) and Stelazine (trifluoperazine). Anti-psychotic medications are […]

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Champix Safety Brought into Question

More than 800 reports of side effects, including more than 500 reports of psychiatric problems, linked to the smoking-cessation drug Champix have been reported to Health Canada resulting in two warnings being issued by the governmental agency recently. Champix has been on the market in Canada since April 2007. A safety warning has also been […]

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Surgeons Can Do More to Reduce the Risk of Infection

Recently Alberta surgeons were surveyed to determine if they followed four evidence based recommendations aimed at reducing surgical site infections. The guidelines were issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in 1999. Three that are accepted as essential practice ask surgeons and their team members to: Remove body hair, if necessary, with clippers, not […]

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Never Events Responsible for Every Sixth Claim

The 2008 Hospital Professional Liability and Physician Liability Benchmark Analysis released Monday September 29, 2008 found that hospital-acquired infections, hospital-acquired injuries, objects left in the body after surgery and pressure ulcers represent more than 12% of hospitals’ liability costs and one out of every six claims. The study, a joint effort between Aon Corp. and […]

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